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by Indiewire
November 21, 2012 12:31 PM
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Sundance 2013 Wishlist: 25 Films We Hope Will Head To Park City

Devil’s Knot," directed by Atom Egoyan
The infamous West Memphis Three murder case has played out in documentary form at Sundance since 1996, when Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofky’s first “Paradise Lost” played the festival. Then Amy Berg’s up-to-the-minute “West of Memphis” doc played Park City last year. So having Atom Egoyan’s fictional treatment in the line-up seems a sure thing. If it does show up, it will involve a mix of unusually big star power, with Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth in central roles, and indie-film stalwarts, such as Elias Koteas, Amy Ryan and Alessandro Nivola in supporting parts. Though his movies often premiere at Cannes, Egoyan is a regular at the Sundance labs, and “Devil’s Knot” still seeks distribution, so Sundance would be a smart play. [Jay A. Fernandez]

"The Double," directed by Richard Ayoade
Comedian-actor-director Richard Ayoade's directorial debut "Submarine" was a Sundance breakthrough simply because it managed to take the familiar coming-of-age mold and deliver a nostalgia-laden combination of touching, somber and funny moods. His sophomore feature -- not to be confused with the Richard Gere spy movie from 2011 -- revolves around a man "driven insane by the appearance of his doppleganger," according to an official synopsis. The man in question is played by Jesse Eisenberg, reigning king of young American neuroses, and thus a great fit for the material and Ayoade's penchant for deadpan comedy. Co-written by Harmony Korine's brother Avi, the movie also stars Mia Wasikowska and Wallace Shawn, a first-rate cast of versatile actors whose involvement hint at a project with potential to transcend the conventional boundaries of the comedy genre -- just like, come to think of it, "Submarine." Our fingers are crossed for a delightfully odd character study. [Eric Kohn]

"Drinking Buddies," directed by Joe Swanberg
When the news came out that prolific microbudget American filmmaker Joe Swanberg was making a relationship comedy with movie stars, I was among the initial skeptics. But it sounds like "Drinking Buddies," which stars Anna Kendrick, Olivia Wilde and Ron Livingston, has come together in the tradition of Swanberg's other movies: shot and edited on a quick time frame, heavily improvised and attuned to the intimate experiences of young adulthood. Set around the platonic friendship of two Chicago residents working a brewery, the movie sounds like a traditional Swanbergian take on relationship politics. As the filmmaker improves his technique each time out, the movies are less impressive for their honesty and more for their skill, which makes this project -- bound to receive more attention than anything he's done before -- worth anticipating whether or not you've been a fan of Swanberg's earlier films. There's no question that his process, like the director, continues to mature. [Eric Kohn]

"GBF," directed by Darren Stein
Darren Stein's breakout film "Jawbreaker" debuted at the 1999 Sundance, and while he's got a stellar cast of comedic actors in line for his new film "G.B.F." (that stands for gay boyfriend).  Megan Mullally, Horatio Sanz and Natasha Lyonne join a cast of up-and-coming young actors who have had notable roles in some of the best youth-focused television and film.  The story, as told in our Will You See This Movie? column, is a too-good-to-be-true story of Stein meeting first time writer George Northy at the Outfest Screenwriting Lab and knowing that he needed to make this film.  The film just wrapped shooting, but it may just be ready for this year's Sundance. [Bryce J. Renninger]

"Friended To Death," directed by Sarah Smick
Sarah Smick's "Friended to Death" sounds like just the kind of low-frills comedy that Sundance wants for its NEXT (or U.S. Dramatic) Competition.  The dark comedy about one man in a midlife rut who fakes his own death using a social media platform.  The film stars rising comedic actors Ryan Hansen ("Party Down") and Zach McGowan (the naked guy on "Shameless") and is directed by recently minted Columbia grad Smick.  Read more about Smick's feelings on being a woman writing a bromance in our feature of the film's production. [Bryce J. Renninger]

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21 Comments

  • HJ | November 27, 2012 6:28 PMReply

    Adam and Dog!

  • Steve | November 27, 2012 8:01 AMReply

    Heard great things about "Friended to Death" too. Hope it makes it in. It's a true indie.

  • Jonathan | November 26, 2012 2:19 PMReply

    It's "Kill YOUR Darlings" not Kill My Darlings.

  • Spmeans | November 25, 2012 11:55 PMReply

    The Coens debuted both "The Hudsucker Proxy" and "The Big Lebowski" at Sundance.

  • Spmeans | November 25, 2012 11:55 PMReply

    The Coens debuted both "The Hudsucker Proxy" and "The Big Lebowski" at Sundance.

  • twinstarg | November 25, 2012 11:25 PMReply

    A while ago I read a fantastic book by DW Gibson called Not Working and know that there's a companion documentary in the works. Have to imagine it's made it into Sundance's 'slush pile' by now. Hope so because I'd love to see it this January!!

  • Starsforarms | November 25, 2012 5:06 AMReply

    I saw the trailer for a doc called Next Goal Wins which looked hilarious. Hope to see it there!

  • Alu | November 24, 2012 4:22 PMReply

    Great list, particularly excited for GBF, Before Midnight, Can a Song Change Your Life?, Kill Your Darlings, Lovelace, and Franco's Forty Minutes. Just a minor correction: GBF stands for "gay best friend", not "gay boyfriend." :)

  • Marshall North | November 22, 2012 6:59 PMReply

    How about Backgammon, which is directed by Francisco Orvananos and stars Brittany Allen, Noah Silver and Alex Beh? http://backgammonfilm.com/

  • Ed | November 22, 2012 8:47 AMReply

    @DEEJ. Sundance hasn't been an independent festival in 15 years. This list is comprised of far too many "Hollywood" films helmed by veteran/established/mainstream directors. Of the films that are not Hollywood productions using the Sundance brand to market their spring releases, we're left with a handful of banal genre pieces by mediocre filmmakers in a very crowded and jaded lineup. The 90's brought us a renaissance that birthed the careers of some of the greatest and most original voices in cinematic history. The last ten years have given us mumbleBORE, pompous neo-realist "awkward white people" films, and the Duplass Brothers. Sundance might as well be a Hollywood Studio. To be fair, the studios have bankrupted and stripped many of the middle road, "indie" subsidiaries and the festivals are almost forced to keep premiering films from mediocre previous classes. 50,000 films produced every year and barley a film on the list by a true first time filmmaker. If you want daring, bold, and original content by independent filmmakers than Sundance should be the very last place you look. Supporters will point to "Beasts" as evidence of their discovery of a MAJOR new talent, and I'd applaud them for as much, but he's one filmmaker in 15 years IMHO.

  • Marshall North | November 22, 2012 7:01 PM

    I agree with Ed that there are FAR TOO MANY established, mainstream Hollywood stars and directors on your list!

  • ian | November 22, 2012 1:02 AMReply

    I think it's highly likely that James Franco will debut his adapation of Cormac McCarthy's Child of God at Sundance, probably in competition. (Heck, he already shot another feature since; As I Lay Dying)

    Both Mathew Weiner and Nat Faxon/Jim Rash have stated that they intend both The Way, Way Back and I am Here to debut at Sundance. Ditto, Joseph Gordon Levitt's Don Jon's Addiction.

    It's also highly likely that The Necessary Deaths of Charlie Countryman will debut at Sundance. (It's been locked for awhile) Ditto Gods Behaving Badly.

  • Mitchell | November 21, 2012 9:39 PMReply

    How about "The East", the new film from the Zal Batmanglij/Brit Marling team, starring Marling, Alexander Skarsgaard and Ellen Page?

  • Bob Giovanelli | November 21, 2012 6:34 PMReply

    "Boys Don't Cry" was shown at Sundance in a special work-in-progress highlight-reel kind of screening, when it had a different title shortly after it wrapped.

  • Luke | November 21, 2012 2:26 PMReply

    Toy's House!!!

  • Luke | November 21, 2012 2:26 PMReply

    Toy's House!!!

  • RK | November 21, 2012 2:08 PMReply

    I love that you guys are still using that Sundance photo...

  • Deej | November 21, 2012 1:07 PMReply

    Will there ever be an Asian American "indie" at Sundance (besides Better Luck Tomorrow). Or, any film with an Asian American cast ... Enought of the DIY-hipster-OWS filmmakers....please.

  • Charlie | November 21, 2012 1:01 PMReply

    The Big Lebowski premiered at Sundance.

  • CHAT N' OOGA | November 21, 2012 12:59 PMReply

    It'd be a bummer if the "The Spectacular Now" doesn't make it in. It's directed by James Ponsolt (the guy who made "Smashed", which was phenomenal) and written by the "(500) Days of Summer" duo. Plus, it's got teenage drinking and Shailene Woodley. It's like a Sundance superbaby. And I mean that in a good way.

  • Ryan | November 21, 2012 12:45 PMReply

    Surprised one of the most obvious to be there, in my opinion, isn't on this list, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Don John's Addiction.